Mediterranean Diet – How Does It Work?

Lose weight with Southern European specialties – too good to be true? But that is exactly what the so-called Mediterranean diet should be able to do. But what is actually behind the popular diet from the Mediterranean?

The Mediterranean diet is on everyone’s lips. Healthy and tasty weight loss and feeling like you’re on vacation in Greece – this is how this form of nutrition is represented in most people’s minds. But is it a healthy weight loss method? And what should you pay attention to when making this change in diet? dr Malte Rubach gives us answers.

Mediterranean Diet – how does it work?

This is incorrectly referred to as a diet. But the name is misleading. “The Mediterranean diet isn’t a diet, it’s a way of eating,” explains Dr. Rubach. In English, the word “diet” is used synonymously with the word “diet”. “That’s why ‘Mediterranean Diet’ is often translated from English in this country as ‘Mediterranean diet, but that doesn’t get to the heart of the matter, because diets are usually limited in time,” says the expert.

The Mediterranean diet is a permanent change in diet. It is generally easier to stick to than a classic diet because a lot is allowed. A balanced, varied, and healthy diet is pursued. The Mediterranean diet is based on a high proportion of vegetables and vegetable fats, and fish is also regularly on the plate. Meat once or twice a week. “Ultimately, this is almost the same as what the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends. So you don’t necessarily have to move to the Mediterranean,” says Rubach.

Which foods are allowed, and which should be avoided?

And why is it called a Mediterranean diet? The Mediterranean diet is based on the eating habits of southern European countries such as southern France, Spain, Italy, and Greece. In our neighboring countries, whatever is in season is served, such as fresh food rich in fiber. This includes fresh fish, poultry, vegetables, fruit, olive oil, potatoes, or nuts.

“Everything is allowed, that’s the good thing about this diet. It didn’t come about because of some diet guru’s idea, but because people in the Mediterranean countries eat what is available to eat there. However, high consumption of vegetables and fish as well as the famous olive oil is characteristic,” says Rubach. Low-fat dairy products (e.g. goat cheese), eggs, and red wine are occasionally allowed, but only in moderation.

Is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy?

“Healthy is everything that is not eaten in excess. The same applies to the Mediterranean diet,” says the nutritionist. “There is evidence that in regions where this type of diet is practiced, fewer cardiovascular diseases occur than elsewhere. But that is certainly also related to other factors.” For example with these questions: Do people move more there because the sun shines more often? Do you eat more moderately because you are full faster? According to experts, no one suddenly becomes healthier just from olive oil or grilled artichokes. “It’s the mixture that counts – and the long-term use,” he says.

How does the change in diet work?

The simplest orientation is provided by Dr. Malte Rubach’s view of a model that was developed by the nutrition expert Karin Hofinger from Austria, it’s called the Vital Plate. And this is how it works: “Half the plate is always full of vegetables, a quarter provides protein: i.e. legumes, fish and also meat. And the last quarter are starchy side dishes: rice, pasta, potatoes or old cereals,” says Rubach. But then you have to do one thing: cook for yourself. “But it will pay off in the long run.”

Tips for the diet concept: This is how the Mediterranean diet works

The strength is to be found in serenity. Start relaxed in the new nutritional concept. “If you want to lose weight with it, you really shouldn’t do too much at the beginning,” says Rubach. “So first test recipes in peace and see how you can integrate this diet into your personal everyday life.”

Another important question to ask yourself: Does the environment play along? As I said, it is a diet that only pays off in the long term. The framework conditions and, yes, the people around you should also have a supportive effect. “You can’t let yourself be diverted from the path. You should start to make sweets an exception too – and eliminate unnecessary sugar from everyday life,” says the expert. “Not sugar in general, I want to emphasize that.” Contrary to many claims, sugar is not poison and is perfectly fine in moderation. Rather, it would be about unnecessary sugar, which is quickly accepted in between a snack or soft drink.

Extra tip: “It might also help to add intermittent fasting. So, if possible, skip breakfast or dinner until you reach your weight goal. But then you should switch back to your normal rhythm,” says Rubach. In this way, you can lose around 2 kilograms of weight per month. “That’s a healthy amount. Without the yo-yo effect hitting.”

Who is this diet suitable for?

In principle, the Mediterranean diet is suitable for everyone because the diet is very balanced and almost everything is allowed. Anyone who chooses regional and seasonal foods and cooks themselves has sufficient flexibility and choice – without overly complicated specifications. You can put together meals individually and according to your preferences according to the plate model. “The learning effect is enormous in the long term, even if the beginning may be difficult,” says the nutrition expert.

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Written by Dave Parker

I am a food photographer and recipe writer with more than 5 years of experience. As a home cook, I have published three cookbooks and had many collaborations with international and domestic brands. Thanks to my experience in cooking, writing and photographing unique recipes for my blog you will get great recipes for lifestyle magazines, blogs, and cookbooks. I have extensive knowledge of cooking savory and sweet recipes that will tickle your taste buds and will please even the pickiest crowd.

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